“More Violins, Less Violence, Better Tomorrows!” That is the Gifford Youth Orchestra’s motto. Tatiana Wallace has taken her violin playing into territory where it even helped create “Less Fear” for a group of Vero Beach retirees during Florida’s hurricane season. Read on to see what this exceptional young lady did and why she is being honored as a Shining Star in the Gifford Youth Orchestra.
When Tatiana was a 2nd grade student at Dodger Town Elementary, she saw and heard the Gifford Youth Orchestra perform at their annual concert. She was so impressed by their remarkable performance that she decided to sign up for the orchestra right away. It is truly amazing how much she has learned and accomplished in the past five years as a valued member of the orchestra.
For the past two years, Tatiana and her violin have earned a rating of “Superior with Distinction” in her solo ensemble competition with the Indian River [?] School District. With scholarships provided by generous donors the past two years, she has been able to attend the Mike Block String Camp. She really enjoys these weeklong summer workshops where she continues to learn music theory and hone practical violin skills to create better tomorrows for herself and others.
Tatiana Wallace will turn 13 on January 13th. She is a 7th grade student at Gifford Middle School. She is the first 7th grader to become First Violinist in the Advanced Orchestra. The other First Violinists are 8th graders. Tatiana is an excellent academic student and this year she is serving as Secretary of the Student Council. Last year she was on the A/B honor roll with perfect attendance. Her dream for the future is to graduate college and become a Forensic Scientist specializing in toxicology or ballistics.
Tatiana is also involved in the Youth Guidance program where she serves as Sergeant-at-Arms in the Pathfinders Excel group, an affiliate of the Exchange Club of Vero Beach. In 2017 she won the coveted NAACP essay contest with her excellent paper on the Florida NAACP martyrs, Harry T. Moore and Harriet Moore.
Tatiana already has many remarkable accomplishments to her name. It is how she brought her violin and her compassionate heart to serve the senior citizens of Vero Beach, however, that truly distinguishes her “Superior with Distinction” achievement.
Tatiana’s grandmother, Alexis Krasotkin, tells the story: “I work at the retirement community of Indian River Estates. During Hurricane Matthew, Tatiana and I spent the night there to help make sure the residents remained calm and comfortable. Tatiana decided to bring her violin. After hearing some of the residents talking about their fears, she pulled out her instrument and began playing. People came to the lobby to hear the music. Once she saw the effect it had on those residents, she decided to play her music in the lobby for a half hour before meals as residents would start gathering. She did the same thing during Hurricane Irma. Although we did not spend the night during Hurricane Irma, she came to work with me for the two days following the storm. Once again, she played the violin before meals for the residents and staff and they really loved it.”
It takes skill and commitment to learn how to play the violin. It takes talent and discipline to perform with an orchestra. And it takes a truly benevolent heart to intentionally offer up one’s gifts in order to lift others’ spirits in times of hardship.
That is what Tatiana did. She is living proof of our GYO motto. And so it is with great pleasure and immense pride that we bestow upon Tatiana Wallace the Gifford Youth Orchestra’s special honor of “Superior With Distinction” and name her Shining Star of the Month!
You can reach the Gifford Youth Orchestra at www.GYOtigers.org. Telephone 772-778-5118 or 772-213-3007 to learn how to become a member/student or to volunteer or become a donor/supporter.